On Monday the Mayor of Los Angeles released a report entitled Resilience by Design. It gives particular attention to how Los Angeles can take steps now to mitigate the consequences of major risks, especially an earthquake.
This is the kind of document that — too often — only appears after a major event. It is significant that one of the first steps Mayor Garcetti took upon his election was appointment of a Science Advisor for Seismic Safety and tasking her to undertake this analysis.
The report gives particular attention to:
- Resilience of building stock — It is interesting that this is treated as a matter of economic resilience as well as public safety.
- Resilience of the water system — This is what worries me most regarding the vulnerability of the Los Angeles basin.
- Resilience of the telecommunications systems — This is a key interdependency that can divide or multiply every other response and recovery capability.
There are, obviously, other crucial problems. But too many of these kind of studies try to take-on too much. If everything is a priority, really nothing is a priority.
These are three strategic elements within the ability of city government to seriously engage. Enhancing the resilience of these three elements will improve the ability of the city and the whole community to address other challenges.